Friday, February 15, 2008

Advertising in sponsorship program book

Since I am an EXCO member of the Malaysia Club Jakarta and being in the ad industry, I was tasked to coordinate and compile the sponsor’s ads for MCJ 14th Annual Dinner and Dance program book, of which I don’t mind at all and being able to contribute my services to fellow Malaysian.

Having an earlier experienced with such a mess, I thought I was ready this time round to whiz it by. But no, that was not the case. Anyway, I am not going to talk about the tedious coordinating work that is going to be on my plate for the next few days in order to get the program book ready for distribution by March 01.

There are some 30 odd sponsors for the event, a very good job done by my fellow EXCO and ADD Organizing Committee members. Among the sponsors, there are many well known companies or brands as they know the real value of advertising, hence, there wasn’t a problem in getting their ad materials since they engaged the services of an ad agency.

However, there are many sponsors who doesn’t seems to have a clue of what finished artwork, color separation film and proofs are. And by simply sending via email a PDF or JPEG file, cut and paste the digital photos, insert their company logo and type whatever their company is doing and there you have it, it’s their ad! Huh! Let alone idea or concept. Nevertheless, the final result of what have been provided by these sponsors is not going to be pretty.

The point here is that irrespective whether it is sponsorship or a brand ad, as long as the piece of medium that carries the logo/name/brand of the company, that is a communications channel, and IT IS AN AD. No two ways about that.

The real issue here is not about having the budget to spend to have a good ad or not. Neither is the intention to buy the table and to support the course of the sponsorship or, even to think that the ad is a bonus if it manages to can catch some potential client. This is just unacceptable reasoning and is exactly the opposite of doing real injustice to the owners themselves.

Friday, February 1, 2008

What a HORRIBLY WET day in Jakarta

It would have not been so bad if today is April Fool's day, but no, it is only Feb 01.

It was raining cats and dogs that woke me up in the wee hours of the morning and I could not be bothered to look at the clock but tucked myself underneath the warm comforter in bed and continued with my slumber until, hmm, I guessed about 9'ish.
Happily got myself ready for work and to fly home later in the day to my ever so lovely wife and kids (oops, not kids anymore but grown up and teenage daughters) but sadly, that was not the case.

A brave venture out the front door from my SOHO was about a foot high flood water...and that was the order of the day until about now, 11.30pm. To make matter worst, the power was cut at about 12 noon where my art director was midway burning a CD for a full page congratulatory ad in Kompas the next day. No matter what, we have to get the ad material to Kompas in Palmerah. I must say we were lucky enough as my Brand Director has some 'connections' there and we were able to come up with a plan to bring our Mac G5 CPU there since there was no electricity in the office! Mind you, it was still raining and there was this 1 foot high floodwater. To cut the story short, my Art Director made it there safe and sound despite having to negotiate the massive traffic congestion and floodwater along the way. To the guys in Kompas, who were so helpful, a very BIG THANK YOU for your kind assistance.

Now that our one and only car was being used to send the G5 and my Art Director to Kompas, I had no choice but to go to the airport by a cab, given that we would have been in some serious "shit" if Kompas carry a full page blank without the ad, and costing about Rp200+ million, the next day.

There I was in a cab on the way to the airport and by the time I reached the junction in front of Mal Taman Anggerek, the traffic was at a total stand-still, smacked right in front of my face. I sat in the cab and waited... and waited..... for about an hour, and the cab hardly ever moved! By then, I had no choice but to change my flight and went straight back to my SOHO (pics showing me walking back and the guys in the office ready with the digicam handy, and I, of course gladly posed for them, keeping cool and not wanting to show my frustration and disappointment. Now that I am in the filthy flood water, I know what the feeling was like when I watched on TV what and how the poor folks of Jakarta have to endure everytime it rains). I SMSed my wife about the change of travel plans, knowing very well that she and the kids will be very disappointed. (As for me, I was devastated). Then again, and in a way, it was a small blessing in disguise as I found out that another Malaysian buddy who was also on the way to the airport at about the same time was stuck in the massive traffic congestion and he couldn't even get passed Mal TA. He was diverted out of Slipi by the traffic cops, heading towards Tangerang and was stuck at Puri Indah area for 1.5 hours ( it was 9.35pm when the SMS came in and he had been in the car for the past 5 long and agonizing hours).
And finally, at about 11.30pm, the power was back.

I supposed Fauzi Bowo's election campaign theme "Jakarta untuk semua" really do hold a lot of weight in water. Now it would probably read, "Banjir untuk semua", Macet untuk semua" and for the rest of the odinary folks like you and me out there, that theme should be translated to "RUGI untuk SEMUA".
Look, this is a known problem and issue for so long, year in and year out, the same problem persisted and it's getting from bad to worst. For Jakarta's sake, what are the elected officials, the city council and the government been doing?
Remembered my Malaysian buddy that was stuck for 5 hours? This's his SMS at 6.35am the next morning on Feb 2, quote and unquote:
"FYI, I never got to the airport & got stuck @ Puri/Rawa Buaya area and then turn back to hse. Reached home 6.15am or 14 hours after I started. U better check traffic flow and weather, till this morning tool rd to airport still closed".
To my buddy, I feel and share your frustration too. However, we should not let this stress us out too much but to try and try to be positive, afterall, we have no choice but to manage it well.
It a short-while, it will be a trying time for me to get to the airport as the toll road is still closed.
In view of the latest traffic and flood situation update I obtained from, especially on the toll road to the airport, I rang my driver to come in earlier to send me to the airport, as I intend to leave earlier than planned, using an alternative route with the this thought, "Yes it will be a longer journey but the journey will be smooth" Amen.